Synapse formation proceeds independently of dendritic elongation in cultured hippocampal neurons

Andrea Holgado, Adriana Ferreira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In central neurons, dendritic differentiation begins well after axonal elongation and is accompanied by the compartmentation of the microtubule- associated protein 2 (MAP2) in the somatodendritic domain. Whether MAP2 plays a role in the morphological and functional maturation of dendrites remains an open question and is the focus of this study. Cultured hippocampal neurons depleted of MAP2 by means of antisense oligonucleotides failed to elongate their dendrites. On the other hand, MAP2-depleted neurons were capable of receiving synapses within the same time course as their control counterparts. However, both the number of synapses per cell and the synaptic density were markedly reduced in neurons in which dendritic elongation has been impaired. Taken collectively, these results suggest that the expression of MAP2 is required for the morphological differentiation of dendrites. Dendritic elongation, however, is not a prerequisite for synapse formation in cultured hippocampal neurons. (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-131
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 16 2000


  • Antisense oligonucleotides
  • Cultured hippocampal neurons
  • Dendritic differentiation
  • MAP2
  • Synaptogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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